Saturday, May 5, 2018

"Hand, Human"

Hand, Human
Reduction woodcut with 2 blocks, 2 colors each
6" x 9"
Limited edition of 30

I made this print for Baren Forum Exchange #76. While contemplating the theme "Humanity" I kept thinking about the time I was at the Columbus Zoo and a gorilla put her hand up on the glass, and I was struck by how much it resembled my human hand. Googling images of gorilla and other great ape hands, I kept finding scientifically cataloged specimens, cut off at the wrist and set on a table to be photographed or illustrated and labeled. So for this print I decided to make an image of my own hand severed at the wrist, set on a table, and titled as a sample specimen. I thought of doing it as a black and white woodcut or engraving, but that seemed to narrow the concept to a one liner. Instead I wanted to use color bright complimentary colors (that are commonly found in many of my reduction color woodcuts) to give the piece another dimension to interpret. The unnatural, flat purple hue on the hand emphasizes the graphic depiction while obscuring the race of the individual, and the yellow can seem both cheery and garish or alarming.

The broader concept will be to create a small series that includes other primate hands (at least the great apes) depicted in the same way and then exhibit them as a set.